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UPDATED: Islam Makhachev Out of UFC on ESPN+ 41 Main Event, Paul Felder Steps In

November 9, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
UFC on ESPN+ 41

UPDATE: We have a new main event for this weekend’s UFC on ESPN+ 41. Following Islam Makhachev’s withdrawal from his match with Rafael dos Anjos due to a staph infection, the UFC has confirmed to MMA Fighting that Paul Felder has stepped in to face dos Anjos in the main event.

Dos Anjos and Felder both took to Twitter to comment, with dos Anjos reacting first and Felder retweeting with his own response:

ORIGINAL: The main event for this weekend’s UFC on ESPN+ 41 is suddenly in chaos after Rafael dos Anjos’s opponent in Islam Makhachev is out of the fight. Makhachev confirmed on Instagram late Sunday evening that he has had to exit the planned fight after a staph infection spread through his fighting team.

Makhachev posted to his account (translattion per MMA Weekly):

“A lot of time and effort was spent on this fight. I was in peak shape, but as soon as I started to lose weight and the immune system began to weaken, I caught an infection that would incapacitate me for at least a month. In this camp, our team had already encountered this infection more than once and many had to cancel their fights.

“This year was difficult for my career. A lot of fights were canceled, but I promise you I will go to the end to get the belt, no matter what it costs me.”

The situation leaves dos Anjos without an opponent, so the former lightweight champion took to Twitter to wish his now-former opponent well and call for a fight with Michael Chandler, though Chandler said he has other plans:

There’s no word yet from the UFC regarding their plans for the main event of Saturday’s show in the wake of Makhachev’s withdrawal.